2015 New Releases in LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction

I’m continuing my habit of rounding of LGBTQ young adult fiction titles traditionally published (ie, that will likely receive professional reviews and be available for purchase through a library vendor). Here’s part 1 and part 2 of 2014 LGBTQ YA releases. I maintain this list as a guide to queer YA based on my presentations on readers’ advisory and collection development for LGBTQ YA, and will be updating it with 2015 titles as I’ve read them.

In this post, I’ve included any YA book that has LGBTQ characters or themes as I’ve been able to ascertain from publication information, reviews, etc. I have only read a couple and can’t guarantee the quality of the representation for all titles. It’s quite possible I’ve missed a few, so don’t hesitate to leave a note in the comments if you have a title to add. It’s worth checking out small indie presses Harmony Ink Press and Bold Stroke Books as well.

YA FICTION WITH LGBTQ CHARACTERS OR THEMES

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
GoodreadsAmazon
One of my most anticipated debuts—I’ve already heard great things about this contemporary title. It promises to be a fun, sweet, romance.

None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio
GoodreadsAmazon Another highly anticipated debut. It’s great to see characters on underrepresented ends of the spectrum of gender/sexual identity. It’s about a girl who discovers she’s intersex.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
GoodreadsAmazon
Yet one more highly anticipated debut. I can’t tell at all what this one is about but am looking forward to it. It’s a bit heavier, near-future, and deals with race, class, and sexuality. Book Riot compared it to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Goodreads | Amazon
Oh man, this one was good! Holly Black has always been good at representing LGBTQ characters in her urban fantasy and this one is a fantastic story about a brother and a sister, the secrets they keep, and the fairy prince who they’ve both fancied themselves in love with since they were young and what happens when he wakes up from his glass coffin. My review will be up soon.

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskovitz
Goodreads | Amazon
Hannah Moskovitz has a track record for solid queer YA in a variety of genres, and I love that we’re seeing POC characters and more genderqueer representation.

Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman
Goodreads | Alex As Well
This is Aussie YA, so it has that going for it, and is about a girl who is born intersex, raised as a boy, and her journey to self-identify as a girl as a teenager.

Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton
Goodreads | Amazon
A selectively mute girl makes a new friend, and the secret of her past trauma is revealed. Dark and emotional, from early reviews.

Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
Goodreads | Amazon
This is a novel set in a small town and centers around a big cast of characters, and I’m thinking one of them identifies as LGBTQ.

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun Hutchinson
Goodreads | Amazon
A guy who lost his family and lives at a hospital befriends a burn victim. This one sounds great, I’m surprised it’s not being pitched as “for fans of John Green!” /sarcasm.

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
GoodreadsAmazon
A pickpocket gets involved in an otherworldly war beneath the city streets of NYC. I’m not sure what the LGBT characters/themes are for this one, but I’ve got it high on my to-read list so I’ll find out shortly.

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton
Goodreads | Amazon
Small town boy in love with his best friend—be still, my heart.

Bleeding Earth by Katilin Ward
Goodreads | Amazon
The title pretty much says it all with this one. Apocalyptic and romantic, according to early readers.

Vanished by E. E. Cooper
Goodreads | Amazon
Pitched as for fans of Pretty Little Liars.

Honey Girl by Lisa Freeman
Goodreads | Amazon
Historical fiction set during the 70s about a California surfer girl. Who likes other girls.

About a Girl by Sarah McCarry
Goodreads | Amazon
Lots of representation here: trans characters, lesbians, and many different racial backgrounds. Plus, Sarah McCarry’s fantastic writing makes this a must read.

Promposal 
Goodreads | Amazon
You could not pay me to read a book about promposals (sorry, I’m old). But apparently there is one where a guy asks a guy.

We Are Made of Molecules by Sarah Nielson
Goodreads | Amazon
About unlikely friendships between a geeky kid and a popular kid (one of my favorite YA tropes). One of the main characters parents is gay.

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan
Goodreads | Amazon
The play from Will Grayson, Will Grayson is now a real book.

The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konisberg
Goodreads | Amazon
I am in love enough with that title to figure out what this is all about. This one purports to deal with “gay history” in the blurb.

These are coming out in the second half of 2015, but put them on your radar.

Robin Talley’s sophomore book What We Left Behind is contemporary, and features a lesbian and genderfluid/genderqueer character dealing with their relationship after moving on to college.

Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak sounds like it could have a fantasy element.

Debut novel Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa is a contemporary, and about a boy in love with a girl and a guy and they’re all best friends and it sounds like my kind of book! I’ll be looking to get my hands on this one ASAP.

You and Me and Him by Kris Dinninson is another debut also about a guy and a girl who are best friends and develop a crush on the same guy, and it sounds cute and promises musical elements. Will be out in July.

Willfull Machines by Tim Floreen doesn’t have a set release date other than fall 2015, and it’s a YA sci-fi thriller that I’ve seen flagged as LGBT, but can’t tell from the synopsis (though it’s from Simon Pulse who publishes a lot of queer YA so I’m hoping it’s right because this list needs more genre fiction with incidentally queer characters!).

Glittering Shadows, the sequel to Jacelyn Dolamore’s Dark Metropolis, is due out in June.

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler is due out in June.

Rainbow Rowell is making the dreams of everyone who has ever read slash fanfic come true with Carry On, due out in October.

Another Day, the sequel to Every Day by David Levithan is due out in August.

Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen is a novel in verse about a girl who discovers her father is gay.

graydots I like the trend of seeing more intersex, transgender, and genderqueer or nonbinary characters, as well as some characters of color. I do wish there was more genre fiction, and it could be that there are books coming out with major or minor incidentally LGBTQ characters. I think we still need coming out stories or novels in which sexuality does play a central theme, but also LGBTQ teens who have other problems, whether they are everyday, paranormal, mysterious, fantastical, or whatever. There should be as many types of novels about these characters as there are about straight ones. For more coverage of LGBTQ YA novels, follow Diversity in YA and Gay YA. Do let me know if I’ve overlooked a title. If you’re an author, even with a small press or independently published, feel free to leave information about your LGBTQ books with links in the comments.

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13 thoughts on “2015 New Releases in LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction

  1. I loved Simon- it was so fluffy and romantic, especially at the end! Another good book was Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler. Thanks again for this list!

  2. As mentioned above, PRIZM books is an excellent source for LGBT YA, including my forthcoming novel TORN, to be published in October. Queer youth of color, otherwise thoughtful and interesting storytelling as well (I hope!)

  3. I can’t wait to read so many of these (namely Simon, More Happy Than Not, Not Otherwise Specified, Alex As Well, Unspeakable, and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley).

    I really loved None of The Above. What We Left Behind sounds interesting too, especially since it deals with older teens, which I love in fiction. Oh and Skyscraping is so on my radar<3 That cover is everything. Anything Could Happen sounds good as well. I might have to give About A Girl a second look.

    I'm loving this trend/theme. Especially with transgender and intersex. It's so great.

  4. Prizm Books is another indie press that’s focused on LGBTQ+ YA, and both its lesbian releases this January have been selected for review by the ALA Stonewall Book’s YA award. They’re my A Harvest of Ripe Figs, which does include a trans character (since you mentioned that) and Lunaside by J. L. Douglas.

  5. Hey there! I have a YA fantasy, DREAMSTRIDER, out in October 2015 from Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children’s that includes lesbian and bisexual secondary characters. I wasn’t going to submit it as they aren’t the MC, but you mentioned looking for both genre fiction and incidentally LGBTQ characters. Feel free to disregard if you aren’t interested in secondary chars!

  6. Wow, so many books I want to read or have already read!! I absolutely adored Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Alex as Well was a rewarding read as well. (It fits the story, but I’m not really a fan of the new cover, so I got it with the old yellow cover.) I can’t wait to read Not Otherwise Specified and Anything Could Happen. “be still, my heart.” – yup :) I’m also thinking about checking out Bleeding Earth and Fans of the Impossible Life. And I quite enjoyed Dark Metropolis, so will definitely read Glittering Shadows as well :)

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